My Journey Through CRF

CRF stands for chronic renal (kidney) failure.

My name is Metta. This is A DIARY OF MY JOURNEY THROUGH CRF.

My Name is Metta. It means lovingkindness. That's what I teach humans.

CRF is common in cats, especially when they get older.

In some feline breeds such as Siamese, CRF is hereditary. I am a Siamese boy.

A poll by the Feline CRF support group on Yahoo! shows 11% of CRF patients are Siamese. The only higher proportion is 12% for the tabby-colored shorthair.

A lecture by Dr Katherine James, a renal specialist, said kidney failure occurred more frequently in some feline species, such as Siamese, Russian blue, Burmese, Maine coon and Abyssinian… I am Siamese 😦

Diagnosis: February 15, 2011

Age at diagnosis: 7 years, 7 months

Lab test results: Please see My Medical Data section

Medical Treatment:

Shaved but saved -- The patch of fur shaved from my right arm is growing back quickly 🙂

I was hospitalized for 3 days to receive continuous intravenous fluids. All the other cat and dog patients were asleep. I was the only one standing at my door watching Hospital Theater. I missed my Bird Theater at home, you see.

One human visitor said, “You’re a very perky cat, considering you’re a kidney patient!”

The nurses had to shave my right arm, to facilitate the IV needle, while I was in hospital. Now that I’m home, there’s no need for that. The fur on my arm is growing back. Can you see the emerging patch in the picture?

Long-term care

I’m home now, with my 7 beds, rosemary garden, cat-mobile, and most important of all, Bird Theater!

Soft-Class Travel to hospital.

But I have to visit hospital every 4 or 5 days for subcutaneous (subQ) injections to keep me hydrated. SubQ fluids are stored under my skin and are absorbed gradually.

So far, I’ve been getting Hartmann’s compound sodium lactate. It contains sodium lactate, sodium chloride, potassium chloride and calcium chloride dihydrate in water.

I hate the needles and dislike the smells and sounds of the hospital. But I know it’s good for me.

Bunnyspotting! Two weeks after diagnosis, I'm taking 1-hour drives in my cat-mobile to watch bunnies 🙂

So I lie in my little travel bag quietly for the 4 or 5 minutes it takes to complete every subQ.

On the way home, I love to stand at the car window and look at all the passing cars, buses and trucks.

That’s a treat! And I feel strong and healthy after the subQ. Two weeks after diagnosis, I am going down the hill for Bunnyspotting again!

Food

There are 6,880 CONTRADICTING OPINIONS about food for cats like me.

Conflicting Opinion No. 6,890 about food NOT needed!

But I’m learning to listen to my own needs, maybe make some compromises and listen to my doctor.

My doctor says I have to eat wet instead of dry food. Goodbye Wellness kibbles 😦

Nothing keeps me from organic wheatgrass

My doctor says I should eat prescription food as far as possible. She gave us some cans of Hill’s k/d with chicken. Yuck! But I’ll eat it if it’s mixed with my favorite chicken strips (reduced portions now) and warm water! It’s quite good after all! And organic wheatgrass!

Quality of life

At the Bird Theater with Coco, my buddy

I’ll choose quality over quantity of life — no doubt about that!

Sunshine! 🙂

I’ll keep to my medical and food routine for as long as I continue enjoying Bird Theater, drives in my cat-mobile, napping beside mommy while she works and checking out the garden!

Social support

There’s a great Yahoo! group where we can get our technical questions answered quickly by people who have experience with CRF. They offer everything from experience to emotional support. A great thing to have!

Aunty Linda comes to see me regularly and she buys my organic wheatgrass from the supermarket.

The nurses and staff at the hospital are also nice. They know me by name now.

Knowledge keeps panic away

Arming ourselves with knowledge about CRF has helped to ease our initial anxiety and despair.

It is helping me to live a normal life.

Some helpful websites:

1.  http://www.felinecrf.com/

2..http://www.felinecrf.org/

3. http://www.veterinarypartner.com

4. http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/Feline-CRF-Support/

5. http://www.vetsites.vin.com/Kidney/VMIIN.HTML   (Great lecture notes from Dr Katherine James, a renal specialist)

6. http://www.broadwayvh.com/site/view/83223_AssessmentDescriptions.pml;jsessionid=g92sm55i901

A LOVED CAT IS A WEALTHY CAT!

Please note: I am not a qualified medical expert, and neither are the humans helping to create my blog. So don’t take my thoughts or descriptions of my experience to be medical advice or procedure suitable for every situation… Every cat is different. Every day is different. Consult your vet!

🙂 This blog is meant for me to stay in touch with my family and friends, and for me to record my own data for personal use. It’s not meant as advice or recommendation on feline CRF management in any sense 🙂

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  1. […] DIARY OF A CAT […]

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